|Directed by:||Adam McKay|
|Written by:||Will Ferrell, Adam McKay|
|Cast:||Will Ferrell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gary Cole, John C. Reilly|
Talladega Nights is a watchable, somewhat funny comedy that brings laughs in spits and spurts, much like a dying engine that's in dire need of some gas. I'm happy to say that it isn't going to be written off as a complete failure thanks to the great comedic timing of the leads Ferrell and Reilly. As for Sacha Baren Cohen - the great Ali G - he does alright for his first cinematic venture outside of his popular persona, it's just a shitty character all around that leaves little to no room for excellence.
I found myself spewing out a couple of good laughs every once in a while, but the funniest parts (brace yourself) were in the previews, sort of. I mean sort of because a lot of the jokes weren't even IN the movie. The ordering of a Fastball at the bar; not in the movie. Sacha Baron Cohen in the bathtub; uh, not in the movie. "Can't have two number ones," and then "Yeah, you can't that makes eleven"; nope. "Yeah, it's the real deal down there", or Reilly in the jacuzzi sportin' short shorts; none of it was in the actual movie. I swear I have never seen a trailer before that was so full of moments that weren't even in the movie! It's happened plenty of times before, but not to this extent.
Anyways, the laughs that I might have gotten from moments in the trailer that WERE in the movie kept me from laughing while watching it. Everyone else laughed like it was the first time they all heard it, though, so maybe I'm the only one who saw the trailer.
With a movie like this, you can't really expect much with the plot and actual story developments. It's basically a single joke premise (idiot redneck was born to want to drive fast, and does rednecky things through the whole movie). If you're a fan of the racing scene, then there are certainly some entertaining moments on the track, with phenomenal CGI! The digital effects were nearly seamless, which goes to show that movies CAN have CGI that looks true to life, meaning that bigger budgeted movies should have no excuse for a lot of the crappy effects they employ in their movies.
I found the biggest laughs coming from Ricky's self-admitting low-life scumbag father that creaps into his life only to leave just as abruptly between several years. That was some funny shit, especially near the end with him going to the ticket booth; I laughed! The swearing and heartless kids Walker and Texas Ranger were too over the top for my tastes, but eh, whatcha gonna do, huh? Plus, endless soundbites that were begging for fans to quote, such as "Shake - and BAKE!" got really tedious. Nevermind the endless product placements, but I think the point of these placements weren't really for advertising more than for parodying the ridiculous lengths that companies go to in order to get their logos anywhere possible. That worked.
Talladega Nights was no breakthrough comedy, and it wasn't trying to be. The main point was to have a screenplay that left a lot open for the actors to vamp off of, hoping to hit paydirt from one take to another with creating their own cooky phrases. I can dig it. I don't mind that. Will Ferrell is a pretty funny chap, and if you're a fan of him and comedies in the tone of Anchorman then I could see this being worth watching.